History of Prodways Group

OVER 25 YEARS OF EXPERTISE IN 3D PRINTING

In the early 1990s, André-Luc Allanic, a world renowned specialist and 3D printing pioneer, was working on innovative technologies (including stereolithography, and metal and polymer powder sintering). He developed some of the first European 3D printing systems for the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Laser 3D, a company he joined in 1993. The stereolithography machines he designed at the time were the fastest on the market.

In 1997, André-Luc Allanic formed his own company – Optoform – and developed revolutionary systems. He sold the company to 3D Systems in 2001

THE ARRIVAL OF MOVINGLIGHT® TECHNOLOGY

In 2007, the arrival of the new generation of DLP® microelectronic chips offered new opportunities for André-Luc Allanic to realize his vision: he combined a DLP® chip with a high-power UV diode (LED) to design the most accurate and fastest 3D printers on the market. MOVINGLight® technology was born. André-Luc established PHIDIAS TECHNOLOGIES to market new machines based on this technology.

In 2013, André-Luc Allanic met Raphaël Gorgé and was won over by the idea of partnering a French industrial group with a
culture of strong technological aptitude. Raphaël Gorgé immediately recognized the significance of the technological leap off
ered by MOVINGLight® technology and the benefits of applying the resources of GROUPE GORGÉ to bring those innovations to the international market.

THE MEETING WITH AN INDUSTRIAL PLAYER: THE GROUPE GORGÉ

André-Luc Allanic and Raphaël Gorgé, CEO of the Groupe Gorgé, met in the spring of 2013. André-Luc Allanic liked the idea of being associated with a French industrial group with a culture of strong technological aptitude and almost 50% of its business in exports. Raphaël Gorgé, CEO of the eponymous group, quickly realized the leap in technology provided by MOVINGLight® technology and how the resources
of his group would be able to expand its reach
internationally.

Beyond their shared passion for scientific research and technological innovation, the two men very quickly realized that they also had the same vision and ambition: turn Prodways into the world’s third-largest player by offering clients a range of technologies and a complete 3D printing service.

IN MAY OF 2013, GROUPE GORGÉ ACQUIRED PHIDIAS TECHNOLOGIES AND THE COMPANY WAS RENAMED PRODWAYS.

With their sights set on this ambition, in just over two years, Prodways made the necessary strategic steps to be able to deliver its clients a complete 3D printing solution,meeting the most stringent quality requirements.

A SURGE IN DEVELOPMENT BY PRODWAYS

IN 2014

  • In April, GROUPE GORGÉ formed PRODWAYS GROUP, which acquired DELTAMED, a key player in materials for 3D printing. This acquisition made it possible for the Group to realize the full value of offering a complete machine-material combination for both developing and established 3D printing applications.
  • In July, PRODWAYS GROUP took a 20% stake in DENTOSMILE, a French manufacturer of transparent orthodontic trays via 3D printing.
  • In December, GROUPE GORGÉ tendered its PRODWAYS shares to its subsidiary, PRODWAYS GROUP, which became the head of its “3D Printing” division.
  • During 2014, PRODWAYS established a distribution network with six partners covering the United States, Europe and Asia.
  • In February, PRODWAYS opened a US subsidiary (PRODWAYS AMERICAS) to provide
    local support for its American customers, particularly for post-sale advice and technical support.
  • In March, the Group stepped up its strategy with two acquisitions to provide it with a comprehensive range of multi-technology services for its customers :
    • The PRODWAYS GROUP acquisition of INITIAL – the leading independent French manufacturer
      of parts through 3D printing
    • The PRODWAYS acquisition of the assets of NORGE SYSTEMS – a UK start-up specializing in the design of 3D printers using plastic powder sintering technology.
  • In june, PRODWAYS GROUP issued ORAs (bonds redeemable for shares) subscribed by FIMALAC DEVELOPPEMENT, providing the Group with new resources to support its industrial projects.
  • In September, a technology partnership agreement was signed with Chinese company HUNAN FARSOON to develop a new premium printer line, “PRODWAYS powered by FARSOON”, based on plastic and metal powder sintering technologies, marking a first step in its positioning as a serious alternative to the market leaders. At the same time, PRODWAYS GROUP took a 45% stake in the Texan service bureau company, VARIA 3D, a long-standing commercial partner of HUNAN FARSOON. VARIA 3D offers service bureau capabilities, machine maintenance, and technical machine upgrades, with significant expertise in selective laser sintering.

IN 2015

  • In november, PRODWAYS GROUP acquired EXCELTEC, a company specializing in the development and sale of premium polymer materials specifically designed and optimized for powder sintering, especially for industrial applications. This acquisition gave the Group a consolidated offering in powder sintering technology with a full range of premium printers and materials to provide a complete solution for all market needs, and established it as a benchmark player and the new alternative to the current leaders in this technology.
  • Also, in November, PRODWAYS GROUP announced the launch of its Aeronautics and Space division : PRODWAYS Aerospace. This division offers a comprehensive range of additive manufacturing services for the aerospace industry, including the design of tooling and embedded parts, the manufacture of finished plastic and metal parts, and the development of machines and materials across all 3D printing technologies.

IN 2016

  • January  saw PRODWAYS GROUP take control of PODO 3D, a start-up established by a chiropodist to develop a 3D printing and modeling solution for plantar orthoses
  • In may, PRODWAYS released the first industrial powder sintering printer for under €100,000. The new printer combined NORGE SYSTEMS products with the expertise of PRODWAYS R&D teams in powder sintering technology. The ProMaker P1000 completes the “PRODWAYS powered by FARSOON” range in the industrial segment and affirms PRODWAYS’ ambition to make industrial plastic powder laser sintering performance accessible to a wider market to facilitate
    innovation and the development of new applications.
  • May also saw the PRODWAYS GROUP launch “INITIAL – Les Créations”, a division specifically formed to focus on the luxury, design, art, and architecture segments – an important market for INITIAL.
  • In June, PRODWAYS GROUP established the company CRISTAL to take over the assets of a French dental laboratory (laboratoire SOCA) with the aim of accelerating the development of 3D printing applications in the dental sector. In November, PRODWAYS GROUP announced several strategic
    partnerships with BASF, A. Schulman, and Arkema to strengthen its powder sintering range.
  • In December, André-Luc Allanic, co-founder of PRODWAYS and R&D Director, was awarded the Engineer of the Year award by the editorial jury of Usine Nouvelle magazine. The award recognized André-Luc Allanic’s contribution to technological progress in additive manufacturing.

IN 2017

  • In February, at the IDS International tradeshow, PRODWAYS GROUP presented its new generation of MOVINGLight® 3D printers, delivering the high levels of precision and speed that are unique to this proprietary technology in a more compact and modular format, in order to address a larger market of dental laboratories.
  • In may, PRODWAYS GROUP was listed on the French Stock Market (Euronext) with great success. This IPO allowed the Group to raise €66 million euros to continue the ambitious development of activities across the professional and industrial 3D printing value chain.
  • In June, at the time of the international Paris Air Show in Le Bourget , France, PRODWAYS GROUP announced the development of its new Rapid Additive Forging (RAF Technology) to 3D print large titanium blanks for the aerospace industry, validating the Group’s investment in this high-potential industry.

A STRONG AMBITION :

Overcoming these key stages, Prodways Group confirms its ambition to capitalize on the boom of this market, pursuing its growth targets and cementing its position as Europe’s leading integrated provider of B2B and industrial 3D printing solutions.